THE corridors of St Mary's Catholic Hospital in Saginaw, Michigan, rang with the sounds of Stevie Wonder's "You Are The Sunshine of My Life" as the singer visited his birthplace.
Little Stevie Judkins, born in the hospital run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, went on to international stardom, and was joined by staff and patients in an impromptu singalong of his greatest hits — including "We Are The World", the song he co-wrote for the African famine appeal. In the midst of a 65-city, four month concert tour, the blind singer spent 45 minutes at the hospital, and paused for a long conversation with a small boy who was losing his sight. "Only the two of them know what was said" Marianne Bird, a hospital spokesperson reported.
Staff presented the singer with a Braille birth certificate as well as a T-shirt and a photograph album to be filled with mornentos of his visit to Saginaw.
"The key to this was his wanting to go back to the hospital where he was born and back to his home and have photographs of the places to show his children so they know this part of his life", Ms Bird said.
The visit was "just a beautiful experience all the way around", she added.
Rejeana Heinrich, director of the hospital's community relations, said that to the best of her knowledge no one else "of his stature" had been born at the 112 year old institution.